Museo del Design del Friuli Venezia Giulia – Associazione no profit
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AGRODRON, THE DRONE-FARMER
Adron Technology, Udine (Italy) and Italdron, Ravenna (Italy), 2014
Adron Technology, Italy
The precision agriculture uses modern instruments and complex information systems with a view to optimising its operations and reducing environmental impacts. Adron Technology, a start-up specialising in the design and development of drones, had an idea: to fly the drones in the skies of the Friuli Region's countryside in Italy to counter the spread of the European corn borer, a dangerous parasite. Thus it was born Agrodron, the first drone-farmer devised in Italy, the result of a collaboration with Italdron of Ravenna.
The drone was particularly efficient in the biological fight against the parasite spreading on corn fields small cellulose capsules containing the eggs of Trichogramma Brassicae, antagonist of the European corn borer, in this way reducing by more than 80% the presence of the parasite.
Agrodron is capable of dealing from a single plant up to 10 hectares per hour; perform monitoring of the fields; spraying of fertilisers and crop protection products. It is self-sufficient, is programmed to know where to fly and where to release, while the operator has a remote control through which it is possible to intervene at any time if necessary. The drone operates on rechargeable batteries (no fuel, and no environmental impact) that provide flight range of about 4 hectares. The cost it is the same of that for chemical pest-control with the great advantage of combatting pests without harm to the environment and to humans. After the first successes, the start-up from Friuli has also developed other applications.